Christopher Wood was one of the most significant early modern artists working in Britain. He absorbed Continental influences in Paris in the early 1920s where he was part of the circle around Picasso, Cocteau and Diaghilev. Wood came to believe that the root of modernism lay in discovering an unfettered simplicity of direct expression in emulation of so-called ‘primitive’ art. In London he joined the Seven+Five Society in 1926 and formed a close, mutually supporting friendship with Ben and Winifred Nicholson, with whom he shared exhibitions. In 1928 Wood and Nicholson encountered Alfred Wallis in St Ives, and both were affected by the powerful naivety of his paintings. Wood made two painting trips to Brittany in 1929 and 1930 where he depicted the rituals and work of the fishermen whose lives were rooted in their relation with the sea. In August 1930, suffering from the effects of opium withdrawal, Wood killed himself.